Mental Health Organization
Since 2007
ShantManas after more than 9 Years of Service in Madurai

Shant Manas service to the Rural People started on 24th November 2007 in Madurai, India.

History of ShantManas

Shant Manas began in the year 2007 by Dr. Cahn Vasudevan, consultant Psychiatrist and Psychotherapist, UK.  Since its inception we have expanded our field of care from 4 villages to 14 from our base in the west of Madurai, Tamil Nadu, with a combined approximate population of over 80,000. It now has three full-time social workers sharing a caseload of 220 service users, with approximately 50 actively receiving treatment. 

Also the treatment of psychiatric disorders, ShantManas aims to provide education on mental health to the local populations, reducing stigma and myths surrounding mental health. Due to its success .The service continues to expand as demand and awareness of mental health increases.

Mental Health beliefs in the locality

The ShantManas catchment area covers a rural population, with many informal workers often living in poor economic conditions. As such there is little or no awareness regarding mental health and illness, there are no local services and access to free, urban government treatment is limited or not possible- with no consistent follow-up after treatment. Mental health compounds economic difficulty by keeping able people out of work, creating a negative impact on their families also (in a community in which most households have one breadwinner).

Many communities retain the idea that mental health is a product of ‘possession’ or have other mythological roots, and there remains a significant stigma attached to have a mental health issue. Because of this belief many sufferers (or their families) seek alternative forms of treatment and do not access conventional healthcare. As well as those mentally ill causing trouble in the wider community, they may be responded to with hostility or even aggression by neighbors or villagers who do not understand their condition.

Such stigma also creates social limitations on a sufferer’s family and their place in the community, affecting deeper levels of rural society: for instance, a mental illness can force the entire family into the fringes of the community and affect the prospects of a sufferer’s relatives.